Laurens De Plus, Enric Mas and Pieter Serry were all in action on the first summit finish of week two, La Camperona.
Friday came with the third mountain top arrival of the 73rd Vuelta a España, and Quick-Step Floors didn't miss the opportunity to be again among the protagonists, infiltrating the strong duo of Laurens De Plus – a podium finisher on Caminito del Rey two weeks ago – and the experienced Pieter Serry in a mammoth 32-man group which rode away from the field on Alto de la Madera, the first climb of the day.
This breakaway arrived at the bottom of La Camperona (8.3 kilometers, 7.5%) with four minutes in hand, and it was on the steeper section of this ascent, which was making its third appearance at the race, that the group was blown to pieces not as consequence of the attacks, but because of the punishing 14% gradients which poured lead in the escapees' legs, who began struggling and witness how their at one point comfortable advantage went up in smokes.
In the end, Oscar Rodriguez (Euskadi Murias) powered clear with one kilometer to go and took the victory, while both our riders finished in the top 10, fifth for Laurens De Plus and eight for Pieter Serry, making sure of flying the Quick-Step Floors flag high on the Cantabrian climb, where also Enric Mas came into the spotlight after taking the bull by the horns and attacking the main favourites.
One of the three riders to move clear from the red jersey group with two kilometers to go, Enric Mas climbed superbly on the brutal slopes of La Camperona, showcasing his talent and elegant style, and his audacious acceleration was rewarded at the end of the day, as he jumped a place in the general classification and got closer to the top 10 overall, after a day which augurs well ahead of this weekend's finishes to Les Praeres and Lagos de Covadonga.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images